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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr Liberty's Avatar
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    Post AT SOBO 2016 (Hopefully!)

    Hello all, this is my first post; been lurking the forums for a while but I just made an account

    Background: I'm hoping to be able to do a SOBO next year (if I can convince the powers that be to let me take a year off from college ). I plan to average about 20 miles/day (I hike reasonably fast, and I can hike all day), so I'm looking at doing early July to late October (hopefully missing bug season in the NE ). While my main long-distance backpacking experience is limited to my trek at Philmont last year (trek 25, ~90 miles; Comanche Peak, Mt. Phillips, Tooth of Time), I have many years of experience 4-season camping in the midwest. That said, I'm looking for advice on gear specifically, and on doing the AT in general, being relatively new to all this.
    Any and all criticism is welcome

    Gear List (google spreadsheet):
    http://bit.ly/1KSxmHk


    Comments on the list:
    1. Marmot Cloudbreak 30 - warm enough/too warm for the whole trek? (It's really only good to upper 30s, being such a light synthetic bag)
    2. Spoon - is 9g too heavy?
    3. Bowl, Pot, Stove - what do you all recommend? (I'm a fairly good cook, so I'd like to try more than just freeze-dried stuff)
    4. Hydration - is 5L too much/too little capacity for the AT?
    5. Clothing - is a button-down outdoors shirt and a pair of nylon zip-offs appropriate everyday wear for the AT?
    6. Clothing - how warm of a jacket do you need? I just planned on a thin rayon fleece and a balaclava...
    7. Sleep shirt - I like to wear shorts and a t-shirt in my sleeping bag, any recommendations for a light, breathable, no-odor shirt?
    8. Contact Lenses - should I just suck it up and carry 4 boxes (3 pairs to a box, two weeks to a pair) or try to mail some ahead?
    9. Hand Sanitizer - what is typically available as resupply on the AT?
    10. Knife - is there anything in a comparable size/ability "class" of the Mora FireKnife that is lighter-weight? (before the argument starts, I want a real knife, not a little swiss-army knife, so don't argue about it)
    11. First-Aid Kit - what should I include? I'm well-trained in first-aid, if it matters...
    12. Phone Charger - is some sort of solar charger (or something to that effect) necessary for the AT, if I plan on taking some pictures with my phone?
    13. Compass - any recommendations on something large enough to use easily but not too heavy?
    14. Repair Kit - what do you include in a repair kit? Needle and thread, duct tape, etc.? Need advice.


    Feel free to comment on anything else on the list, either

  2. #2
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    1) if your sleeping bag is that warm then on #6 you definitely want a puffy jacket to supplement
    2) I like a long handled lexan spoon
    3) no bowl, just pot, stove, and maybe a cozy. millions of choices from cheap to $300.
    4) 2x 1L gatorade or smartwater bottles and 2L platy softbottle is more than I've ever needed and light/compact to boot
    5) yes
    6) i'd bring the fleece and a down/synthetic puffy jacket or vest to supplement your sleeping bag if need be.. never know when it's gonna get a little chilly anyways
    7) lightweight merino wool or silk
    8) how blind are you? maybe switch to glasses for this trip? or go get lasik lol... jk.. id prob just carry them if their light enough and didn't plan on any maildrops
    9) well i always go to the trial section of hygiene products in the grocery store, usually a 1oz or 2oz container. I only take 1oz with me. more than enough. If i have to buy a 2oz I share
    10) I carry a fixed blade. A Mora 2/0.
    11) well trained in wilderness first aid? you don't need much. bandages can be improvised. trekking poles are splints. duct tape is your friend. mainly carry special pills (ibuprofen, aspirin, antidiarrheal)
    12) solar chargers are less than ideal on the green tunnel. taking extra batteries are a mophie battery pack is a much simpler choice for the AT. plus mophies are cheaper than solar chargers
    13) no real "need" for a compass. I have a suunto a-10 that weighs 1oz I take pretty much everywhere. when I thru-hike I'll just be bringing a grade AA button compass
    14) duct tape, sewing needle, safety pins, cuben fiber tape, tenacious tape, I use braided fishing line as sinew. Some use dental floss. It depends on your gear. If you have cuben then cuben tape, etc...

    hope I could help

    -fastfox

  3. #3
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    Everyone has different priorities and there is no wrong or right. But..... here is my take. I went SB in 1995.

    #1. I carried a down bag back in the 90s. I use a synthetic quilt now so pick your flavor. The down definitely packs down smaller and last longer.

    #2. Heavy isn't the issue but make it long. You will use that spoon frequently. ;-)

    #3. I found my propensity to cook greatly curtailed on the trail. You will be hungry enough and tired enough that expending undue effort at the end of the day won't be high on your priority list. Quick food will. I wouldn't just take a system for freeze dried food because you need to add variety but keep it simple. You will cook fancy far less than you think and I've never found an easy, quick, and lightweight system for making fancy meals in the backcountry.

    #4. 2L is plenty. Carry a flat Platypus type carrier for dry camps and a couple Gatorade bottles for hiking. Don't monkey with a hydration sleeve..... PIA and hard to clean.

    #5. I don't wear pants hiking..... cheap athletic shorts are my mainstay. I didn't even carry pants on any of my long hikes.

    #6. A down puffy is sure nice to have in camp. It can get cold any time of year and it can be an addition to your sleep system.

    #7. Merino wool

    #8. I used contacts on both my long hikes. No problems although you won't have the same standards for cleanlyness as you do in the front country. I touched my eyes with dirty hands all the time. ;-)

    #9. I don't know... .I never used any but some baby wipes sure make a lot of sense to give yourself a whores bath on the trail.

    #10. I use a super light weight but high quality knife. I used to have a mini-Gerber (like 0.5 oz) and that is all you really need. You could get by with a razor blade if you are a gram weenie.

    #11. Don't carry a first aid kit. Take duct tape, some pain killers and sleeping pills. Carry bug spray and that permethrin stuff for ticks. Treat your water.... Anything you are likely to suffer from on the trail isn't going to be helped by the typical first aid kit.

    #12. Got me.... we didn't have cell phones when I hiked. If I did it again today I think I'd leave my phone at home too. That was part of the experience for me.

    #13. You will never use it. Get the lightest one you can find just because it will go unused.

    #14. Duct tape will fix anything! Most things you can do without until you get to a trail head but I had the soles of my boots come off in southern California 28 miles from town. I managed to baby them into town with my entire supply of duct tape.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mr Liberty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    1) if your sleeping bag is that warm then on #6 you definitely want a puffy jacket to supplement
    2) I like a long handled lexan spoon
    3) no bowl, just pot, stove, and maybe a cozy. millions of choices from cheap to $300.
    4) 2x 1L gatorade or smartwater bottles and 2L platy softbottle is more than I've ever needed and light/compact to boot
    5) yes
    6) i'd bring the fleece and a down/synthetic puffy jacket or vest to supplement your sleeping bag if need be.. never know when it's gonna get a little chilly anyways
    7) lightweight merino wool or silk
    8) how blind are you? maybe switch to glasses for this trip? or go get lasik lol... jk.. id prob just carry them if their light enough and didn't plan on any maildrops
    9) well i always go to the trial section of hygiene products in the grocery store, usually a 1oz or 2oz container. I only take 1oz with me. more than enough. If i have to buy a 2oz I share
    10) I carry a fixed blade. A Mora 2/0.
    11) well trained in wilderness first aid? you don't need much. bandages can be improvised. trekking poles are splints. duct tape is your friend. mainly carry special pills (ibuprofen, aspirin, antidiarrheal)
    12) solar chargers are less than ideal on the green tunnel. taking extra batteries are a mophie battery pack is a much simpler choice for the AT. plus mophies are cheaper than solar chargers
    13) no real "need" for a compass. I have a suunto a-10 that weighs 1oz I take pretty much everywhere. when I thru-hike I'll just be bringing a grade AA button compass
    14) duct tape, sewing needle, safety pins, cuben fiber tape, tenacious tape, I use braided fishing line as sinew. Some use dental floss. It depends on your gear. If you have cuben then cuben tape, etc...

    hope I could help

    -fastfox
    Thank you!
    1. So you are suggesting that I bring a warmer jacket just in case it gets really cold for a few nights?
    2. Do you have any recommendations in particular? (i.e: a certain pot, alcohol vs canister vs whatever stove, etc.)
    3. 4L? Ok, looks like I'll be able to drop some weight since I won't need so much capacity.
    4. What kind of jacket would you recommend? I've never had a puffy jacket before
    5. I strongly prefer contacts because then I can wear real sunglasses instead of the dorky clip-over-glasses kind . One box (=6 weeks) weighs 16g, so 4 boxes would be about 64g... Maybe I'll mail ahead two boxes and half the AWOL guide, so I only have one thing to pickup along the way.
    6. Ok. I'll account for 2oz so it counts the heaviest my pack will be
    7. Ok, good to know. I'll probably just toss some bandaids and pills in ziplocks and call it a day.
    8. I saw this in another thread, I think I'll look into something like it instead of solar. It's like a mophie but uses AA batteries.
    9. Ok, I think I'm going to get a Suunto clipper then, it's 5g and points with 10 increments, which is good enough for me.
    10. Ok, I guess I'll have to shelf deciding what to put in here until I finalize the rest of my gear.


    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    Everyone has different priorities and there is no wrong or right. But..... here is my take. I went SB in 1995.

    #1. I carried a down bag back in the 90s. I use a synthetic quilt now so pick your flavor. The down definitely packs down smaller and last longer.
    #2. Heavy isn't the issue but make it long. You will use that spoon frequently. ;-)
    #3. I found my propensity to cook greatly curtailed on the trail. You will be hungry enough and tired enough that expending undue effort at the end of the day won't be high on your priority list. Quick food will. I wouldn't just take a system for freeze dried food because you need to add variety but keep it simple. You will cook fancy far less than you think and I've never found an easy, quick, and lightweight system for making fancy meals in the backcountry.
    #4. 2L is plenty. Carry a flat Platypus type carrier for dry camps and a couple Gatorade bottles for hiking. Don't monkey with a hydration sleeve..... PIA and hard to clean.
    #5. I don't wear pants hiking..... cheap athletic shorts are my mainstay. I didn't even carry pants on any of my long hikes.
    #6. A down puffy is sure nice to have in camp. It can get cold any time of year and it can be an addition to your sleep system.
    #7. Merino wool
    #8. I used contacts on both my long hikes. No problems although you won't have the same standards for cleanlyness as you do in the front country. I touched my eyes with dirty hands all the time. ;-)
    #9. I don't know... .I never used any but some baby wipes sure make a lot of sense to give yourself a whores bath on the trail.
    #10. I use a super light weight but high quality knife. I used to have a mini-Gerber (like 0.5 oz) and that is all you really need. You could get by with a razor blade if you are a gram weenie.
    #11. Don't carry a first aid kit. Take duct tape, some pain killers and sleeping pills. Carry bug spray and that permethrin stuff for ticks. Treat your water.... Anything you are likely to suffer from on the trail isn't going to be helped by the typical first aid kit.
    #12. Got me.... we didn't have cell phones when I hiked. If I did it again today I think I'd leave my phone at home too. That was part of the experience for me.
    #13. You will never use it. Get the lightest one you can find just because it will go unused.
    #14. Duct tape will fix anything! Most things you can do without until you get to a trail head but I had the soles of my boots come off in southern California 28 miles from town. I managed to baby them into town with my entire supply of duct tape.
    Thank you for your response, I can tell you put effort into explaining yourself
    1. Ok. I already own my Marmot so I think I'll stick with it. The temperature rating seems reasonable to you though?
    2. Ok. The one that I have folds in half, but when it's extended I'd guess it's probably about 6-8" long
    3. Good to know. I don't intend to make anything "fancy", so to say, but I might make more than just pasta and oatmeal . One kit I found ("Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset") has a 5.6" titanium frypan in it (it nestles onto the pot to be the lid, I think), do you think it would see any real use, or should I ditch it entirely?
    4. I'm sticking with a bladder (Source has some magic that makes them never get grimy or taste funny, and the wide-zip is easy to fill, imho), but when you say 2L, do you mean 2L capacity or carry 2L consistently (with a collapsible storage for more)?
    5. Ok. I usually like pants because I don't have to worry about getting scratches on my legs or putting sunscreen on my legs if I'll be in the sun, but if I end up liking shorts better on the AT... with zip-offs, they can be shorts if I want them to
    6. What puffy jacket do you recommend? I've never had one before...
    7. Good to know, I'll look into it.
    8. Ok. I usually just sponge-bath with a wet bandana if I want to bathe, so I guess I can ditch wipes and just get the very tiniest bottle of hand sanitizer, if I won't need it very often.
    9. Alright. I'll toss a few bandaids and some ibuprofen in a ziplock and call it a day.
    10. Ok. I don't plan to be using it as a phone very often, just to snap a few pictures and call my mom once a week so she knows I'm not dead
    11. I hear you. I think I'll get a 5g Suunto Clipper.
    12. Duct tape is definitely coming with, then!

  5. #5
    Registered User Mr Liberty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Liberty View Post
    (quote)

    1. So you are suggesting that I bring a warmer jacket just in case it gets really cold for a few nights?
    2. ---
    3. Do you have any recommendations in particular? (i.e: a certain pot, alcohol vs canister vs whatever stove, etc.)
    4. 4L? Ok, looks like I'll be able to drop some weight since I won't need so much capacity.
    5. ---
    6. What kind of jacket would you recommend? I've never had a puffy jacket before
    7. ---
    8. I strongly prefer contacts because then I can wear real sunglasses instead of the dorky clip-over-glasses kind . One box (=6 weeks) weighs 16g, so 4 boxes would be about 64g... Maybe I'll mail ahead two boxes and half the AWOL guide, so I only have one thing to pickup along the way.
    9. Ok. I'll account for 2oz so it counts the heaviest my pack will be
    10. ---
    11. Ok, good to know. I'll probably just toss some bandaids and pills in ziplocks and call it a day.
    12. I saw this in another thread, I think I'll look into something like it instead of solar. It's like a mophie but uses AA batteries.
    13. Ok, I think I'm going to get a Suunto clipper then, it's 5g and points with 10 increments, which is good enough for me.
    14. Ok, I guess I'll have to shelf deciding on what to put in it until I finalize the rest of my gear.


    (quote)


    1. Ok. I already own my Marmot so I think I'll stick with it. The temperature rating seems reasonable to you though?
    2. Ok. The one that I have folds in half, but when it's extended I'd guess it's probably about 6-8" long
    3. Good to know. I don't intend to make anything "fancy", so to say, but I might make more than just pasta and oatmeal . One kit I found ("Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset") has a 5.6" titanium frypan in it (it nestles onto the pot to be the lid, I think), do you think it would see any real use, or should I ditch it entirely?
    4. I'm sticking with a bladder (Source has some magic that makes them never get grimy or taste funny, and the wide-zip is easy to fill, imho), but when you say 2L, do you mean 2L capacity or carry 2L consistently (with a collapsible storage for more)?
    5. Ok. I usually like pants because I don't have to worry about getting scratches on my legs or putting sunscreen on my legs if I'll be in the sun, but if I end up liking shorts better on the AT... with zip-offs, they can be shorts if I want them to
    6. What puffy jacket do you recommend? I've never had one before...
    7. Good to know, I'll look into it.
    8. ---
    9. Ok. I usually just sponge-bath with a wet bandana if I want to bathe, so I guess I can ditch wipes and just get the very tiniest bottle of hand sanitizer, if I won't need it very often.
    10. ---
    11. Alright. I'll toss a few bandaids and some ibuprofen in a ziplock and call it a day.
    12. Ok. I don't plan to be using it as a phone very often, just to snap a few pictures and call my mom once a week so she knows I'm not dead
    13. I hear you. I think I'll get a 5g Suunto Clipper.
    14. Duct tape is definitely coming with, then!
    Well it seems the forums messed up my formatting, I had some blank numbers so my comments matched up to the quotes... I've (hopefully) corrected it here.

  6. #6
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    1) not just in case it gets really cold a few nights, it will get cold a few nights. You wear your puffy layer with you inside your sleeping bag to keep you warmer. It'll keep your torso warmer and therefore your overall body will be warmer. Or if you just have cold feet one night you can drape it over your footbox of your bag, etc. And it's just great to wear around camp. I've worn a long sleeve baselayer, microfleece, and down hoody in July/August. Your always colder when your a little damp or wet too. And on the AT.. your always a little damp or wet.

    3) for the common man, a canister stove and a GSI soloist cookset. Take the mug if you like coffee and send it home if you don't need it. Add in a long handled spoon and a small lightload towel and your good to go. the soloist is great capacity and has a really nice non-stick finish for cooking in your pot. There are many great manufactures of canister stoves. Snow Peak and MSR are probably the two that comes to my mind first but there are many others that are fantastic. The snowpeak litemax is nice and light and proven. The olicamp ion is nice and light but maybe a little unstable. The MSR pocket rocket is still the industry standard.

    4) it's good to have 2x soda bottles to drink from. 1L each is a good size. Smartwater bottles, gatorade/poweraid, etc. There plenty durable, light, disposable (so you can refresh them every so often in town), and they come with free gatorade. A 2L platy softbottle is a great addition as it folds up small and is nice and light. Great for getting a bunch of water for camp so you have enough to hydrate at night, cook dinner, have water for breakfast, and then start your next days hike with some water. What do you plan on using for water treatment?

    6) I use a down hoody from montbell. the ex-light anorak. pricey, but worth it to me. You can buy a used one for cheaper. JCpenny, Macys, TJ Max have bargain puffys. Hard to recommend one cause it depends on how much you want to spend. I really enjoy having a hoody one though. The hood adds a lot of warmth for a small weight penalty. Some just get vest.

    8) yeah mail them ahead. I didn't know you got 6 weeks out of a box.

    9) hand sanitizer after nature calls. every time.

    11) in your FAK, main rule is don't bring it unless you actually know how to use it.

    12) batteries are gonna get expensive on you. why not take advantage of "free" electricity in towns

    13) sure, thatll work. you may never use it

    14) duct tape is your friend.

  7. #7

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    A 'puffy' jacket is slang for a down jacket. Typically of the Stay-Puff marshmallow man variety.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Puffy+down+jacket

  8. #8
    Registered User Mr Liberty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    1) not just in case it gets really cold a few nights, it will get cold a few nights. You wear your puffy layer with you inside your sleeping bag to keep you warmer. It'll keep your torso warmer and therefore your overall body will be warmer. Or if you just have cold feet one night you can drape it over your footbox of your bag, etc. And it's just great to wear around camp. I've worn a long sleeve baselayer, microfleece, and down hoody in July/August. Your always colder when your a little damp or wet too. And on the AT.. your always a little damp or wet.
    3) for the common man, a canister stove and a GSI soloist cookset. Take the mug if you like coffee and send it home if you don't need it. Add in a long handled spoon and a small lightload towel and your good to go. the soloist is great capacity and has a really nice non-stick finish for cooking in your pot. There are many great manufactures of canister stoves. Snow Peak and MSR are probably the two that comes to my mind first but there are many others that are fantastic. The snowpeak litemax is nice and light and proven. The olicamp ion is nice and light but maybe a little unstable. The MSR pocket rocket is still the industry standard.
    4) it's good to have 2x soda bottles to drink from. 1L each is a good size. Smartwater bottles, gatorade/poweraid, etc. There plenty durable, light, disposable (so you can refresh them every so often in town), and they come with free gatorade. A 2L platy softbottle is a great addition as it folds up small and is nice and light. Great for getting a bunch of water for camp so you have enough to hydrate at night, cook dinner, have water for breakfast, and then start your next days hike with some water. What do you plan on using for water treatment?
    6) I use a down hoody from montbell. the ex-light anorak. pricey, but worth it to me. You can buy a used one for cheaper. JCpenny, Macys, TJ Max have bargain puffys. Hard to recommend one cause it depends on how much you want to spend. I really enjoy having a hoody one though. The hood adds a lot of warmth for a small weight penalty. Some just get vest.
    8) yeah mail them ahead. I didn't know you got 6 weeks out of a box.
    9) hand sanitizer after nature calls. every time.
    11) in your FAK, main rule is don't bring it unless you actually know how to use it.
    12) batteries are gonna get expensive on you. why not take advantage of "free" electricity in towns
    13) sure, thatll work. you may never use it
    14) duct tape is your friend.
    1. Ok. Do you know the lowest temps I should expect? (SOBO July-Oct, if all goes to plan)

    3. A canister stove? Wouldn't it be hard to find fuel for those? I've been playing around with isopropyl alcohol and soda-can stoves (trust me, it's tricky to get it to burn cleanly) because 91% iso is easy to get anywhere and the stove weighs all of ~15g, but it's pretty slow to work.

    4. Currently the plan is a 1L Source Bladder, 1L Nalgene, and (either a 2L grey water bag or a 1L collapsible bottle + a 1L grey water bag). I think I'll go with the Sawyer Mini, but I have to look into it a little more. (Nalgenes: I know everyone hates them because they're heavy, but I like to carry one because they're easy to clean [read: drink mix] and they're indestructible)

    6. I'll look into it. Never had a puffy jacket before (never felt the need for one, but in the midwest it usually goes directly from fleece-weather to parka-weather ).

    8. Each box (~1cm x 5cm x 10cm) has 3 pairs in it, and each pair lasts 2 weeks.

    9. Amen.

    11. Good advice.

    12. Hm, I suppose that's true. I'll look into that too.

    13. Yep, and since it will probably just become part of my pack, I'll have it for other trips when I do need a compass.

    14.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by bemental View Post
    A 'puffy' jacket is slang for a down jacket. Typically of the Stay-Puff marshmallow man variety.
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Puffy+down+jacket
    Ok, that's what I suspected. Do you recommend any particular brands/models? Just looking for input here

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    Yea... I started end of August and hiked through December with a 30 deg. bag. You should be fine.

    Cooking... I had a 2-part stainless cook kit that would have been considered crazy heavy by todays standards. My base weight was probably around 16lbs (don't remember to be honest). I had a breakfast routine where I cooked a bagel in butter and covered it with crunchy peanut butter. It was loaded with calories and trust me.... you have no experience where you consistently burn the kind of calories you will while covering 20+ miles per day. There are plenty of ways to skin a cat but pick a light weight 2-part cook set that gives you flexibility on what/how you cook and a good canister stove. That will cook anything you really need.

    Puffy... I'd get down for the same reason I'd get a down bag. You are only going to be using it in camp or in a sleeping bag. Anything under 16 ounces with a hood would be what I would target. It doesn't need to be highly technical. About 3-4 ounces of down is plenty. You won't need it often in July/Aug but into the fall it will become the first thing you grab in camp.

    The most important part of what you wear as bottoms has to do with how it rubs your legs and how it allows moisture out of your crotch. Once you get the "walk like a cowboy syndrome" you will come to appreciate what works and what doesn't. I don't think I put suntan lotion on my body even once on my trip.

    Duct tape RULES!

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    Here is an example of the puffy I'd target.

    http://www.montbell.us/products/disp...01156&gen_cd=1

    I don't own one.... believe it or not I had a custom one made for me by Goose Feet Gear. I've been hiking long enough to know exactly what I wanted so that is what I had made. Mine is 8.7 ounces, has a hood, big handwarmer pockets, full length zipper with 4 ounces of down fill. It stuffs down REALLY small and provides amazing warmth.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    Yea... I started end of August and hiked through December with a 30 deg. bag. You should be fine.

    Cooking... I had a 2-part stainless cook kit that would have been considered crazy heavy by todays standards. My base weight was probably around 16lbs (don't remember to be honest). I had a breakfast routine where I cooked a bagel in butter and covered it with crunchy peanut butter. It was loaded with calories and trust me.... you have no experience where you consistently burn the kind of calories you will while covering 20+ miles per day. There are plenty of ways to skin a cat but pick a light weight 2-part cook set that gives you flexibility on what/how you cook and a good canister stove. That will cook anything you really need.

    Puffy... I'd get down for the same reason I'd get a down bag. You are only going to be using it in camp or in a sleeping bag. Anything under 16 ounces with a hood would be what I would target. It doesn't need to be highly technical. About 3-4 ounces of down is plenty. You won't need it often in July/Aug but into the fall it will become the first thing you grab in camp.

    The most important part of what you wear as bottoms has to do with how it rubs your legs and how it allows moisture out of your crotch. Once you get the "walk like a cowboy syndrome" you will come to appreciate what works and what doesn't. I don't think I put suntan lotion on my body even once on my trip.

    Duct tape RULES!
    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    Here is an example of the puffy I'd target.

    http://www.montbell.us/products/disp...01156&gen_cd=1

    I don't own one.... believe it or not I had a custom one made for me by Goose Feet Gear. I've been hiking long enough to know exactly what I wanted so that is what I had made. Mine is 8.7 ounces, has a hood, big handwarmer pockets, full length zipper with 4 ounces of down fill. It stuffs down REALLY small and provides amazing warmth.
    What do you mean by 2-piece cookset? Two different-sized pots? Pot and pan? Other?
    Also, any recommendations on stoves?

    Thanks for the puffy recommendation, it's a great starting point. I'll look around and let you know what I decide on

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Liberty View Post
    What do you mean by 2-piece cookset? Two different-sized pots? Pot and pan? Other?
    Also, any recommendations on stoves?

    Thanks for the puffy recommendation, it's a great starting point. I'll look around and let you know what I decide on
    Yea... kind of like this.

    http://www.rei.com/product/831567/sn...tanium-cookset


    Although these thin titanium pieces are not what I'd choose. I'd rather than one of the newer anodized aluminum cooksets in the same design. They are thicker and easier to use the frying pan without scorching everything.

    All I used my frying pan lid for was cooking bagels.... so I'm not sure it is all that necessary. I have fond memories of peanut butter bagels though.

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    Oh.. the Snow Peak stove shown in that picture is what I use. There are plenty of gas stoves that would work although the Snow Peak is still considered a solid choice.

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    I did a little legwork and made this temperature graph, using 20 mi/day as the average pace and the temperature history records for 2010-2014 at http://www.almanac.com/.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Not in the mountains.... I walked through a hail storm on Sept 4th. It gets significantly colder than that in the Smokeys in particular ending in October. You should also give your schedule some wiggle room. You may not average 20+ miles per day. Are you counting zeros? One minor injury then your schedule gets pushed and if you are not counting zeros you are not likely being realistic. It is nice to take days to drink beer and lounge around eating. It will refresh you and it is part of the fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    Not in the mountains.... I walked through a hail storm on Sept 4th. It gets significantly colder than that in the Smokeys in particular ending in October. You should also give your schedule some wiggle room. You may not average 20+ miles per day. Are you counting zeros? One minor injury then your schedule gets pushed and if you are not counting zeros you are not likely being realistic. It is nice to take days to drink beer and lounge around eating. It will refresh you and it is part of the fun.
    Of course. This is the data from selected towns along the way, which tend to be at lower altitudes and more optimal locations than the Trail. But I thought it was a good guideline, and someone might be able to take a look at it in a year or two and it could be useful to them.

    I set the average at exactly 20 mi/day, because I plan on taking very few zeros (I won't be of age to grab a beer... and where's the fun without the hiking? At least put in a few miles ), and because I'll hike significantly more than 20 mi certain days (i.e: 100 mi wilderness).

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    Someone will surely contribute to your delinquency if you choose to have a beer or two. But in all seriousness. Trust me... you will want to do some zeros if you are a party animal or not. Look at what MOST people end up doing. Don't make the mistake of thinking your not like all those other people. You are.... and unless you are mental taking some time off the trail is part of the fun. ;-)

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    Oh... trail towns are not representative of hiking at altitude. I hiked in the Smokeys in the 90s on spring break. I did a number on my knee and gimped back to the car early and it ended up being a lucky injury. Less than 24 hours after I left 3-4 feet of snow dumped on the mountains and the National Guard was called in to rescue hundreds of hikers stranded on the trails.

    I've hiked in the Smokeys over Christmas break (I'm from Indiana originally) and it was just below zero one trip. I'm sure it was significantly warmer in Gatlinburg..... so your assumptions for weather are significantly off. There is such a drastic difference between the summit of Mt. Washington and Gorham as to not even be comparable. Most areas of the trail are pretty mild but the Smokeys will be cold when you cross them late in the year. You will cover all the cold parts up North in the warm part of the year. You will likely need to plan for the possibility of below freezing weather when you cross the higher sections down south. It can go either way in shoulder seasons.... that is part of the reason why it is dangerous. One trip it is nice a mild... and the next you get hit with three feet of snow.

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